Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Went to England again, last week.  No, wait.  Week before last.  Good conference, stayed in a hotel on the beach in Portsmouth, presented my research, got to hang out and be a student for a while.  Came back to piles of work, but oh well.

John and Jill live near the conference venue, so John came and got me on the Friday afternoon and took me back to their place for dinner.  We discussed Brexit.  No-one I met in England was for it.  We also talked about me leaving England for Canada when I was in elementary school, and how that affected my life.  It occurred to me, while I was wandering around listening to my music, on the waterfront in the rain, on the way to the university from my hotel, that my life would have been very different if we'd stayed there.  I'd maybe feel a sense of belonging, at least in one of the countries.  But as I get older I find that I don't have the self-consciousness I used to have, I don't hear my accent as different, I say what I think and then grin and mostly people deal with it.  I don't want necessarily for people to think I'm English - I am what I am now and whatever they think is not really relevant.

Having said that, I got up at 5am the morning of my presentation and paced around the parking lot at the hotel, rehearsing it out loud.  It went well, I managed to say everything I needed to say in the 15 minute time slot, my slides all worked, and the audience said nice things afterwards.  The students I travelled up with told me I didn't seem nervous, but I do have a poker face when I need one.  

No comments: